Charlie and I had already moved the chair Gramma gave me out into the yard. I wanted to put the heavy desk into the truck first, so we just kept putting furniture and boxes in the yard, on the sidewalk, wherever we could find room for it.
I had gone inside to get a cold one after we almost dropped the daybed coming down the porch steps. Charlie said he was going to the corner to get an ice cream from the guy with the pushcart. I was going to miss that guy, and I almost went with Charlie, but I went into the house instead.
It was hotter in there than outside, so I grabbed a couple of beers, figuring Charlie would want one too. I nudged the fridge shut with my foot and headed back outside.
When I got to the porch, I was surprised to see a beautiful girl had perched herself on the daybed and sat there smiling at me where I stood.
All the noise of the city seemed to stop. The kids still played basketball in the cage across the street behind me. The cars still drove up and down Highland, beeping their horns in frustration at the moving truck in their way. But I did not hear them.
I stumbled down the steps, staring at this beautiful girl on my daybed. She wore shorts, her ankles were crossed, and her white skin glistened in the heat. I almost dropped the beer.
I stood there, staring at her. Grinning. Not talking.
â€œYou dumb?â€ she asked.
I laughed and offered her a beer. She said sure, sheâ€™d love one.
â€œThereâ€™s room in this bed for you,â€ she said, before she slurped from the can I gave her. In this bed, I thought. Not on this bed.
â€œUm, I, uh, mmm. My nameâ€™s um. Hi. Iâ€™m Henry,â€ I managed.
â€œWell, Henry, Iâ€™m Margie, and I like it hot. Like it is now. You know. Aw, donâ€™t be shy, you can sit next to me.â€
Charlie walked up just then, his mouth blue from his ice cream, and said, with a low whistle, â€œWell, whoâ€™s the new girl?â€
Margie just smiled, and I introduced Charlie to the woman that I eventually got up the nerve to ask to marry me. It only took me ten years, and even now, after forty years of marriage, when I look into my Margieâ€™s brown eyes, dull from cataracts, I see the young girl full of piss and vinegar who, back in 1945, walked up into my yard and sat on my daybed. And she is as beautiful and vibrant now as she was then. And her smile still confuses me.